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antwerp & menstruation

December 18, 2023

Antwerp is a lovely, quirky city in the north of Belgium, perfect for walking, especially if you’re menstruating and in pain and don’t fancy hilly destinations. Known for being a seaport town, it attracts me for its chocolates, second-hand shops, and the ability to ride a bike everywhere. If you’re not dextrous with Flemish, don’t worry – everyone speaks English fluently!

Its fault relies on the lack of toilets available when you’re out and about. It is another one of those places where you must walk into a coffee shop or a restaurant to use the toilet. I did not struggle with that, though. Whether you’re visiting the MAS or one of the many cool vinyl shops, you are bound to be nearby a facility.

 

Let’s start with…

The Gran Central Station

Don’t spend too much time here if you don’t have to, but you must visit. Easily mistaken for a cathedral, this station is one of the largest hubs in Belgium and it has loads of history that I will not be getting into. The most important thing to register is that there are toilets at this station, but you need to pay to access them. I opted out as my accommodation was not far but be aware of this. The trains have toilets that you can use but I also didn’t try them, as I was carrying luggage with me, and it seemed too much of a faff.

Little note: trains in Belgium get cancelled and delayed all the time. Sometimes with no warning. The Flemish version of living life on the edge…

Best brunch at Charlie’s

We came across this beautiful restaurant with flowers around the entrance and a colourful menu, where we ordered some delicious food and coffee. Do read the menu as there are some ‘hidden’ charges. If they ask if you would like a side salad with your sandwich, be aware the salad comes at an extra cost. The toilet was gender-neutral, clean enough but not pristine, with a bin, toilet roll and hand wash.

The Vinyl store across the road – Coffee & vinyl

To digest brunch, we spent hours looking through boxes of old records, breathing in dust and loudly celebrating every time we found a hidden gem in what looked like an extension of a family’s garage. They double as a coffee shop and there is a gender-neutral toilet for customers.

Luddite’s

My favourite place in Belgium, overall. Doubling as a bookstore on the ground floor and a coffee/wine bar upstairs, it has a beautiful flamingo-themed toilet (yes, gender-neutral again) for customers to use, with a bin and a private sink if you need to wash your moon cup.

The bookstore is divided in Dutch and English books with an amazing selection of special editions. If you buy a book, they give you a voucher to spend upstairs on a glass of wine and you can sit in the beautiful velvet-sofas or outside, in the Paris-cafe-style chairs soaking up some sun.

De Roma

This show venue aligns with the whole city last-century’s vibes. Featuring past and future concert announcement billboards by the entrance, the place is run by volunteers, working on all areas: checking tickets and serving you drinks. There are multiple toilets, and they are fully ready to accommodate less mobile people; just head over to their website to find all the details you may need.

I left a review of all these locations on The M Scale app, so you can access this information easily. You can download the app here.
 

Maria Hasse

Maria works in the creative industries and loves to hop around from country to country in search of an ever-ending Summer. She's passionate about demystifying taboos and shedding light on underrated topics through different mediums.

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